Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2022 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Cutter Gauthier Scouting Report.
Versatile forward Cutter Gauthier was a big part of the U.S. team that won a silver medal at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. He scored three goals and six assists for nine points in six tournament games. Playing for the US NTDP Under-18s, Gauthier scored 34 goals and 31 assists for 65 points in 54 games this season. In 2020-21, Gauthier played for the NTDP U17s. He scored 20 goals and 17 assists for 37 points in 40 games. In 2020, he played for Team USA at the Youth Olympic Games. He picked up one goal in four games and helped the American squad to a silver medal.
Gauthier is the son of former pro goalie Sean Gauthier, who was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in 1991. He played one NHL game for San Jose. He also had a long career playing pro hockey in the AHL, ECHL, and in Europe. Cutter Gauthier was born in Skelleftea, Sweden while his father was playing overseas. He is eligible to play for the US as an American Citizen, and he played most of his minor hockey in the Detroit area.
He is committed to playing for Boston College next year.
Cutter Gauthier Scouting Report
Left Wing/Centre — shoots Left
Born January 19th, 2004 — Skelleftea, Sweden
Height 6’3″ — Weight 194 lbs [190 cm/88 kg]
With many big power forwards, the words “skates well for his size” are seen in scouting reports. This qualifier is not necessary for Gauthier. He skates very well compared to his peers both big and small. While his top-end speed isn’t the fastest, it also does not hurt him. That said, hockey is a game of quick stops and starts and this is where Gauthier excels. His first step quickness and acceleration are very good. He also has very good edgework and agility. This allows him to win races to loose pucks and separate from defenders when he gets a step on them. He also is able to change directions and weave through traffic with and without the puck.
Gauthier is also very strong on his skates. He fights through checks and can drive the net. It is very difficult to knock him off the puck. He is also good at battling along the boards and establishing his position in front of the net. This should only continue to improve as Gauthier matures and adds lower body strength to his frame.
Gauthier scores the majority of his goals with his wrist shot and snapshot. They are hard and accurate. He also has a quick release. Gauthier can surprise goalies with how quickly he gets his shot off. He can generate power when shooting off the wrong foot and this can be a weapon. He needs to work on his slap shot and one-timer. If the pass isn’t exactly perfect, he has trouble adjusting and getting the shot off with power and accuracy.
Gauthier can also score goals close to the net. He drives the net with power and has the puck control to make a quick move to beat a defender or goaltender. He elevates the puck quickly on his backhand. Gauthier also uses his size to cause havoc in front of the net. He screens the goalie and can score on deflections, rebounds, and by banging in a pass from a teammate.
Gauthier’s soft hands also help him to control the puck in the cycle game. He works well at maintaining possession down low, using his body and long reach to protect the puck. This extends his team’s offensive zone time and gives more opportunities to create chances. Gauthier looks to get a step on a defender and drive to the net. He is good at making a short pass to a teammate to maintain possession and keep the cycle going. He dishes it off and looks for the give-and-go. Gauthier could improve his creativity though. He does not make many creative passes through tight passing lanes to create scoring chances. He is strong on the forecheck as well as winning battles for loose pucks.
Gauthier is also good in his own end of the ice. He uses his size and ability to win battles on the boards to support the defence down low. He also has good hockey IQ. Gauthier has the smarts to read the play and uses his long stick to cut down passing lanes and create turnovers. His positioning is also strong. Gauthier does a good job of forcing attackers to the outside and away from the front of the net. He is also good at transitioning from defence to offence when a turnover is created. However, Gauthier will need to show about more consistency in his energy levels. There are times when he can be more involved and keep his feet moving.
Projection and Comparison
Gauthier’s combination of size, physical play, and skill is an intriguing package that NHL teams are always looking for. There are some limitations here but he could be a strong second-line player if he reaches his potential. He is good in most areas, but there are some little details he could improve in his skating, passing, and defensive game that would really help him take his game to the next level. Expect him to spend at least a year in the NCAA before going pro. Gauthier’s game is reminiscent of Chris Kreider, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Cutter Gauthier that are available on youtube and Twitter.
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) November 12, 2021
Can confirm Frank Nazar’s dangles do transfer overseas. Cutter Gauthier with the finish on the second goal. pic.twitter.com/qtGrmdmsFu
— Wagon Hockey (@WagonHockey) January 20, 2020
At this time, we ask you to deposit your hats on the ice 🎩🎩🎩
— USA Hockey’s NTDP (@USAHockeyNTDP) March 12, 2022
Cutter Gauthier is a bad, bad man 🦹
— USA Hockey’s NTDP (@USAHockeyNTDP) March 12, 2022
Feels like a good time to remind you all about Cutter Gauthier.pic.twitter.com/2aHCV0aIfM
— Sam Stern (@SammmyStern) January 1, 2022
— Spoked Z (@SpokedZ) April 23, 2022
I always love it when I'm watching a particular player and someone else in the game does something really cool.
— Brandon Holmes (@BHolmes_Hockey) August 15, 2021
This goal battle between Will Smith and Cutter Gauthier is something else!
— USA Hockey’s NTDP (@USAHockeyNTDP) February 26, 2022
Check back tomorrow for our latest 2022 NHL Draft Article.
Cutter Gauthier Scouting Report Main Photo:
PLYMOUTH, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 17: Cutter Gauthier #19 of Team Blue skates up the ice in the third period of the USA Hockey All-American Game at USA Hockey Arena on January 17, 2022 in Plymouth, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)